CHINA has vowed to “fight to the death” as warships, tanks and warplanes were deployed over Taiwan amid fears of war breaking out.
Beijing is outraged and is threatening action as it accuses the US of provoking them over the breakaway island the Communist Party has long claimed belongs to China.
Resolves on both sides will now be stretched to the breaking point with an expected visit to the island by US spokeswoman and outspoken China critic Nancy Pelosi.
She is second only to the presidency, behind only Vice President Kamala Harris.
And should the trip go ahead, she will be the most senior US politician to visit the island – something that will infuriate China.
At least two Chinese warships — a destroyer and a frigate — have been seen lurking off the island, and Chinese warplanes have buzzed near the dividing line in the Taiwan Straits.
And chilling footage shows a column of amphibious tanks amassing on beaches just a few kilometers from Kinmen Island — the closest point between China and Taiwan.
It is also reported that China is preparing to deploy its aircraft carriers to match US operations in the region, with the USS Ronald Reagan and her battle group currently operating near Taiwan.
Chinese state media reports that the two 66,000-ton freighters Liaoning and Shandong are now at sea.
Chinese leader Xi Jinping has promised to retake Taiwan, which enjoys strong but unofficial US support.
It has always been unclear whether Washington would intervene militarily should China attack Taiwan, despite recent hints from Joe Biden.
Even the prospect of a visit has sparked a crisis that could escalate into war, with China warning its military “not to stand by” and threatening “serious consequences”.
China sees any engagement between Washington and Taiwan’s capital Taipei as US endorsement of the island’s independence.
“The US side will bear the responsibility and pay the price for undermining China’s sovereign security interests,” Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said at a regular news conference in Beijing.
Both China and Taiwan have been holding war games in the days leading up to Pelosi’s possible visit.
Their plane has reportedly now taken off from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – and may be headed for Taiwan.
The world is waiting with bated breath to see if she lands in Taipei in the next four hours – and what the response from China will be.
Chinese propaganda released yesterday showed their military as soldiers in the clips vowing to fight to the death.
“We are prepared for all eventualities. Fight under orders, bury any invaders and move towards joint and successful operations,” the troops said, reports Chinese state-media tabloid The Global Times.
“We are PLA soldiers, we swear to defend the fatherland to the death.”
With a circulation of more than two million, the newspaper is often seen as the unfiltered mouthpiece of the Communist Party.
“Based on what I know, Beijing has formulated a number of countermeasures, including military action, in response to Pelosi’s possible visit to Taiwan,” said the newspaper’s editor Hu Xijin.
He warned: “Leave it alone [Pelosi] go to Taiwan. But pray before you leave: wish her a safe journey and wish that history will not define her as a sinner setting in motion a spiral of escalation that escalates military tensions into a full-scale war in the Taiwan Strait.
The newspaper also quoted a “Chinese military aviation expert” as warning that Beijing’s fighter jets could fire warning shots at Pelosi’s plane as it approaches Taiwan.
Fu Qianshao siad: “If Pelosi’s plane enters our exercise area, we would have to take action to exit, intercept, escort and send a radio warning.
“If Pelosi prevails, our fighter jets could fire shells obliquely in front of Pelosi’s plane as a further warning.”
And it quotes “cross-straits expert” Chiu Yi, who said Pelosi was hiding “like a rat” – and claimed the politician was likely to enter Taiwan from the east to avoid the massed Chinese military in the west.
US officials have previously raised concerns about the safety of the Pelosis at the visit, which was not specifically sanctioned by the White House or President Joe Biden.
And in an ominous phone call Thursday, President Xi Jinping warned Biden, “Those who play with fire will perish.”
It makes China’s public admissions that they will take “strong action” even more alarming for the House Speaker.
China’s PLA Eastern Theater Command released a dramatic video demonstrating their military prowess in what appears to be another warning.
The caption for the clip in question read, “Stand by and fight, bury any enemy that comes.”
And the country has reportedly given its chilling “war signal” in official circles – issued before its last two major conflicts.
The phrase ‘don’t say we didn’t warn you’ has now been mentioned frequently in discussions amid rising tensions.
Analysts said Washington’s response to the plans and China’s feverish response mean it is difficult to de-escalate the situation without either country appearing weak.
Pelosi – an outspoken Taiwan supporter – was originally scheduled to travel to Taipei in April but pulled out at the last minute after testing positive for Covid.
There are fears that Taiwan is a key flashpoint between Washington and Beijing – with a potential invasion potentially forcing the US to either leave the island or face an all-out war with China.
Taiwan insists it is an independent nation after seceding from mainland China in 1949.
However, Beijing has always aggressively insisted that Taiwan is still theirs by rights – and has promised to retake the island by 2050.
https://www.the-sun.com/news/5910625/china-fight-to-death-taiwan-tanks/ China vows to “fight to the death” and mass tanks on beaches for a D-Day-style invasion of Taiwan, stoking fears of WW3